Staff SGT Donald Wayne West, Jr., enlisted in the United States Army National Guard on September 11, 2001. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Company A of the 150th Combat Engineers served active duty Aug 29, 2004, until Dec 30, 2005. SSGT West returned to college in January, 2006. He married Lauren Ritchie June 9, 2006, at Seaside, Fla. Their son, Donald Wayne (Trey) West, III, was born March 19, 2007. SSGT West completed military service at Camp Minden, LA on Aug 23, 2009.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Day 151B - Duty




This recent post by blogger Scott Ott is worth sharing:

The United States Army, which has missed its recruiting goals in each of the past four months, despite increasing financial incentives, today held a news conference to announce a new recruiting gimmick which it called "duty."

At a Pentagon briefing, an unnamed Army spokesman said that, historically, this little-known concept has motivated more citizens to rise to America's defense than money, prestige or promises of college education.

Journalists at the news conference, baffled by the terminology, unleashed a barrage of questions about why anyone would volunteer to fight for a country that runs a gulag at Gitmo, invades peaceful sovereign nations like Iraq and has no respect for the most Holy Koran.

The Army spokesman further confused reporters with his response.

"Men volunteer to fight, bleed and die for the United States of America because she is the last, best hope for peace and freedom on earth," he said. "They consider the evidence that America has pushed back the veil of tyranny and saved countless millions of men, women and children from imprisonment, torture, starvation, humiliation and brutal death. And they act on that evidence, knowing that the blood of free men is always the price of freedom."

"While critics jabber about global diplomacy, these men step into the breach to shield us all from the peril of our naivete about the so-called 'basic goodness of humanity'. These men don't think America is perfect, because they know the evil that lurks in each of our hearts. But they devote themselves to preventing untrammeled wickedness from roaming the earth. Their heads are clear. Their hearts are steadfast. And their sense of duty has shut down gulags, death camps and dictatorships for nearly a century."

"You can't lure this kind of man with money, slick advertising or blue-sky promises. They need money, but money does not stir their hearts. These men are attracted by the grind, the challenge, the moral obligation and even the thrill of knowing that your heart beats, bleeds and may ultimately stop, in service to a dream -- an ideal that has found practical expression in a nation, under God, that we call the United States of America."

"Most ordinary men live their whole lives in search of meaning, purpose -- a cause to which they can give their hearts. They know the desperation of their empty pursuit of pleasure. They long to spend themselves for something greater than themselves. They know that the grave awaits each of us. They hope to really live before they die. And when, on the street or at the mall, they see a man in uniform, they're filled with gratitude and awe. As they shake his hand and thank him for his sacrifice, they see a reflection of themselves as they wish to be."

"In a very real sense, those who sign up to serve in the United States military sign their own death certificates. Yet by surrendering their lives, they come to know the joy of duty and the satisfaction of service to others."

"What else could inspire a young man to step out from among his teenage friends and to put on the uniform that marks him as the target of every terrorist on earth? Duty. Duty driven by love. Greater love has no man than this, that he lays down his life for his friends."

By the time the Army spokesman had completed his remarks, only a handful of journalists remained in the briefing room due to a rumor that the Michael Jackson jury may have reached a verdict.
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